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Crackdown on ‘rip-off’ IVF clinics

Fertility clinics charge too much and claim 'impossible' success rates, says expert

Posted: 23 May 2011
by Paula Wilkinson
Couple going for IVF counselling
Couples are being ripped off by IVF clinics claims a leading fertility expert

Private fertility clinics in Britain are set to come under increased scrutiny, amid growing complaints that some have been exploiting vulnerable couples.

Fertility expert Lord Winston accused some clinics of misleading couples by making "quite incredible" claims about success rates and overcharging for treatment.

"It is only when you look at their websites that you see they are charging up to £1,100 to £3,200 for drugs that should be obtained on contracts at around £500 to £700 per cycle,” Lord Winston told The Independent.

He also attacked the fertility industry for behaving in a "dishonest and dangerous" way by offering treatments abroad that are not acceptable in the UK.

Fertility's been in the news this week after a US gossip mag claimed Kate Middleton can't have children.

Britain's fertility watchdog, the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA), is to launch a crackdown, forcing private IVF clinics to stop making exaggerated claims about success rates.

Each year 40,000 couples undergo treatment, but with the NHS slashing its fertility provision, up 80% are turning to private clinics, where the average cost of a cycle is £3,500. 

Around 15,000 children are born as a result of IVF every year – but fewer than one in four IVF cycles results in a live birth.

Are you still trying to conceive? Check out our Tips to boost conception naturally. Could it be your diet? Discover the nutrients men and women need to boost chances of having a baby. And if you're planning on trying tonight, read our Top sexual positions for conception

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